Category: Men’s Fiction

A #cloakanddaggerchristmas Book Review | “Deck the Hounds” (Book Eighteen of the Andy Carpenter Mysteries) by David Rosenfelt

Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , 2 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was approached by Minotaur Books this Winter about reading a selection of their upcoming Mysteries and Suspense novels. I was hoping to read them in the weeks leading into Christmas until I came down with a serious Winter virus which disrupted my plans. Therefore, it became a proper #cloakanddaggerchristmas celebration for me as I settled into these Cosies as the holiday was arriving giving me a comfortable joy of reading the kind of stories I love to discover during this time of the year. Cosies are wonderful all year round but there is something special about the ones that take-on a holiday vibe!

I received a complimentary copy of “Deck the Hounds” direct from the publisher Minotaur Books (an imprint of St. Martin’s Press) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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The reason reading ‘Deck the Hounds’ appealled to me:

I used to read quite a lot of legal dramas and legal mysteries – it has been awhile since a plot inspired me and this one, as it is set at Christmastime felt rather charming!

As a rule, I do love to read series in-progress start to finish; however, there is one small luxury I haven’t had the pleasure of engaging in for a few years, which is to seek out new Mystery series to read by way of reading a ‘holiday’ release within a series and to gauge if I would enjoy reading the rest of the series after entering through the holiday story! I did this previously with “Holiday Grind” for the Coffeehouse Mysteries – which gave me a strong impression of the series at large and I am still working my way back through the series start to finish as a result.

This year, when I was offered the chance to select some books to review for Minotaur Books, I decided to take a chance to see if I could find new series to become engaged inside. One of the descriptions which stood out to me was this one “Deck the Hounds” – as I knew the cover art might be misleading a bit, as it looks like a cute Cosy but something told me to prepare for a hearty story-line inside the cute & fluffy cover!

From what I gathered via their current catalogues of new releases for Cosy Mysteries, Historical Mysteries & Thrillers or Suspense – I have found a new publisher to keep a ready eye out for #newtomeauthors & serials! I’ve selected quite a few I want to seek out in New Year, as a few of my libraries are carrying their authors! I’d love to get to know these new series and see which of the authors I’ve recently discovered by Minotaur Books will become my new beloved favourites of the coming year!

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Deck the Hounds badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit jorielovesastory.com

Deck the Hounds
Subtitle: An Andy Carpenter Mystery
by David Rosenfelt
Source: Direct from Publisher

Reluctant lawyer Andy Carpenter and his faithful golden retriever are back again in David Rosenfelt's dog-centric Christmas mystery Deck the Hounds. A rare act of kindness on Andy's art leads him into a perplexing mystery requiring all of his sleuthing skills, and a little help from his loyal pet.

When Andy sees a dog next to a homeless man, he's inspired o give the pair some money to help. It's just Andy's luck that things don't end there. A little while later, the man and his dog are attacked on the street. The dog defends its new owner, and the erstwhile attacker is bitten but escapes. But the dog is quarantined and the man, Don Carrigan, is heartbroken.

Andy's wife Laurie can't resist helping the duo after learning Andy has met them before... it's the Christmas season after all. In a matter of days Don and his dog Zoey are living above Andy's garage and become two new additions to the family. It's not until Andy accidentally gives away his guest's name during an interview that things go awry; Don, as it turns out is wanted for a murder that happened two years ago. Don not only claim he's innocent, but that he has no idea that he was wanted for a crime he has no knowledge of in the first place. Andy has to exonerate his new friend, if he doesn't get pulled into the quagmire first.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781250198488

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Legal Thriller


Published by Minotaur Books

on 16th October, 2018

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 336

 Published By: Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks)
{imprint of} St. Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress)

The Andy Carpenter Mysteries:

Open and Shut (book one) | First Degree (book two) | Bury the Lead (book three)

Sudden Death (book four) | Dead Center (book five) | Play Dead (book six)

New Tricks (book seven) | Dog Tags (book eight) | One Dog Night (book nine)

Leader of the Pack (book ten) | Unleashed (book eleven) | Hounded (book twelve)

Who Let the Dog Out? (book thirteen) | Outfoxed (book fourteen)

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas (book fifteen) | Collared (book sixteen)

Rescued (book seventeen)

→ Deck the Hounds (book eighteen) *where I begin the series!

Converse via: #AndyCarpenter, #CosyMystery, #LegalThriller & Holiday Humour
Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

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I sometimes enjoy listening to audiobook samplers whilst I’m about to read an author for the first time. Especially in this instance, as this is a series well into its rhythm of releases – wherein, I found the character’s voice & tone of delivery to be uniquely different than what I had pre-imagined Andy Carpenter might sound like as a narrated character! Which of course, proves that sometimes what we think a character might be about and who they really are could be two different impressions!

The narrator is Grover Gardner and his voice reminds me of Andy Rooney from “Sixty Minutes” which of course is dating myself but that is okay! If you know of Rooney’s voice, you can imagine how surprised I was that a similar tone of delivery is being used for Andy Carpenter! I guess I hadn’t quite envisioned him the same way but then again, I didn’t have a lot to go on and as this is the 18th book, clearly I am missing a few of his personality quirks! Laughs.

The sampler skips over a pivotal scene with a homeless man & his dog, inserting us directly after the encounter where Andy, his wife Laurie and their son Ricky are discussing the situation shortly after dinner. I could have listened to more of this to gather a bit more insight into Andy & his family but I was thankful to have the sampler available as a precursor to my readings!

One interesting thing to note is that it would appear most if not all of the stories are available via Scribd for those who subscribe to their audiobooks.

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About David Rosenfelt

Rosenfelt is the Edgar and Shamus Award-nominated author of eight stand-alone thrillers and seventeen previous Andy Carpenter novels. A New Jersey native, now living in Maine, he and his wife recently moved with the twenty-five golden retrievers that they've rescued.

After a long and successful career as the President of Marketing for Tri-Star Pictures, he began the Tara Foundation (the basis of Andy Carpenter's foundation) to help find a home for sick or injured dogs. The foundation has rescued over 4,000 dogs from shelters; experiences he relates in his non-fiction books Dogtripping and Lessons from Tara.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2018 by jorielov in #cloakanddaggerchristmas, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Dogs and Puppies, Homeless Residents, Legal Drama, Legal Drama | Courtroom Drama, Legal Thriller, Men's Fiction, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Rescue & Adoption of Animals, Vulgarity in Literature

Blog Book Tour | Part II of the duology series “The Painting on the Pond” feat. the sequel “to Walk in his Moccasins” by Sharon Lewis Koho

Posted Thursday, 21 June, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting blog tours with Cedar Fort Publishing and Media for several years now, wherein their new blog tour publicist (Ms Sydney Anderson) also runs her own publicity touring company: Singing Librarian Book Tours (or SLB Tours for short!). I happily joined her team of book bloggers as a hostess in late Spring, 2018 wherein my first tours with her as a hostess begin Summer, 2018. I appreciate reading INSPY literature and was happy to find these are most of the stories she is showcasing through SLB Tours! Most of her authors are published through Cedar Fort, though she does work with authors who are either Self-Published or Indie published through different publishers as well.

I received a complimentary copy of “to Walk in his Moccasins” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My main takeaways from reading “The Painting on the Pond”:

I admit, I struggled at first to get the rhythm of this novel – as the dialogue and the narrative were a bit on the raw side of delivery. I understood the gist of what Ms Koho was trying to impart to us – as she was attempting to set the scene and apply the layers of what drew the wider lens of suspense around this singular entrance of her lead character – for her artist was newly arrived in an awe-inspiring area of the country where his renewal in his creative pursuits is one-part inspired by his surroundings and one-part enabled by his change in locale (ie. having relocated from the city). However, having said that – a lot of the opening bridge is being told to us rather than enveloping us inside his head – into his thoughts and allowing us to see what is happening to him or rather still, what he is feeling through his emotions. A lot of start and stops, if you will, as I had to re-align how she began the story in order to get into sync with her writing.

Ms Koho has instilled a beautiful ghost story into the background of her novel – one which involves an old estate, a lost love and a woman who refused to give in to what life revealled. Her true strength is her convicting narrative – where you get to alight in her thoughts, seeing how she wants you to see her characters and it is the better half of the novel. She likes to enlarge your perception and get you to think about the different possibilities before she reveals what is truly going on.

Where she errors a bit is showing dialogue and conversation – something I admit, is one of the harder bits to writing, as being a writer myself, I’ve had my own struggles with both of these concepts, which is why I noticed the disconnections. It isn’t that she isn’t on the right track with the dialogue, it’s merely the fact the words don’t joss together correctly. The words feel a bit on the forced side of the ledger rather than the ease of a conversation you’d feel comfortable having aloud with a friend or acquaintance of your own. That’s the trick and proof in the pudding – how dialogue sounds aloud!

One thing Ms Koho relies a lot on is the presumption we’ll go along with believing the suspenseful bits – it’s hard to describe really – I read a lot of Mysteries, Suspense & Thriller stories – but I like the aspect about them where I feel lost inside the ambiance of where the writers are taking me. Where I don’t have it all sorted out, where the more ominous undertones are not as readily apparent as they could be – their more elusive and aloof. In this story, sometimes the suspense gets a bit blurry – there are pieces of clarity here and there, but other times, your being told quite a lot of what you’d rather see through the character’s eyes or experiences. Plus, not everything should feel a bit too neat and too tidy to where the illusion is lost.

-quoted from my review of The Painting on the Pond

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Blog Book Tour | Part II of the duology series “The Painting on the Pond” feat. the sequel “to Walk in his Moccasins” by Sharon Lewis Kohoto Walk in his Moccasins
Subtitle: sequel to The Painting on the Pond
by Sharon Lewis Koho
Source: Direct from publisher via SLB Tours

Betrayed in the rugged wilderness of Alaska, Jerry Stone has narrowly escaped death, thanks to a desperate rescue by his friends David Young and Rachel Duncan. Injured and in agony, he is flown to a hospital more than a thousand miles from home. However, his own suffering is soon forgotten as he comes to understand the meaning of true courage from a little Indian boy.

Laced with intrigue, adventure, love, and forgiveness, this powerful concluding sequel is a story of supreme loyalty and friendship.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781555178789

Also by this author: The Painting on the Pond

Also in this series: The Painting on the Pond


Genres: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Suspense


Published by Bonneville Books

on 1st August, 2008

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 245

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

NOTE: Generally speaking, in my experience of reading stories published under the imprint of Bonneville Books, it means the story will be LDS Fiction – rooted in the Mormon faith, however, I did not find this to be the case in regards to the novel ‘The Painting on the Pond’. If anything, it was very lightly INSPY, in regards to the characters acknowledged their spirituality in gentle undertones throughout the content of the story – they prayed and they were open about their concerns, fears, etc but there wasn’t a moment where I would say this was ‘definitively LDS’ as other releases from Bonneville Books would have been as they focused more on the traditions of being Mormon.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Painting on the Pond Series:

The Painting on the Pond by Sharon Lewis KohoTo Walk in His Moccasins by Sharon Lewis Koho

The Painting on the Pond is a prequel for To Walk in His Moccasins which makes me believe this series could in theory be a duology and completely contained within these two installments.

Converse via: #INSPY #Suspense & #RealisticFiction

About Sharon Lewis Koho

Sharon Lewis Koho

Sharon Lewis Koho grew up on a small ranch near the town of Inkom, Idaho. Her beloved father died when she was five years old, and she and her siblings were reared in humble circumstances by a hard-working and courageous mother.

In her youth, Sharon discovered she could create any world she wanted to visit, or any story she wanted to be a part of by climbing high in the trees bordering her cherished ranch. Daydreaming there amid songs of birds, rustling leaves and the babbling of the nearby creek, inspired many wonderful stories. Sharon married Bill Koho from Nampa, Idaho in 1967, and they were married thirty years until his death in 1997.

She is the proud mother of six children. Although she is a Licensed Practical Nurse by profession, she has had much more experience in creating and telling stories. Her favorite thing to do is to spend time with her children and grandchildren. She also enjoys visiting, traveling, camping, reading, writing, swimming, and any adventurous idea that pops into her head.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

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Posted Thursday, 21 June, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Medical Fiction, Men's Fiction, Modern Day, Nurses & Hospital Life, Realistic Fiction, Singing Librarian Book Tours, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense, Sweet Romance

Blog Book Tour | The novels of Sharon Lewis Koho feat. the series “The Painting on the Pond” – this is a review of the first novel (entitled the same) and is INSPY Suspense!

Posted Monday, 11 June, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting blog tours with Cedar Fort Publishing and Media for several years now, wherein their new blog tour publicist (Ms Sydney Anderson) also runs her own publicity touring company: Singing Librarian Book Tours (or SLB Tours for short!). I happily joined her team of book bloggers as a hostess in late Spring, 2018 wherein my first tours with her as a hostess begin Summer, 2018. I appreciate reading INSPY literature and was happy to find these are most of the stories she is showcasing through SLB Tours! Most of her authors are published through Cedar Fort, though she does work with authors who are either Self-Published or Indie published through different publishers as well.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Painting on the Pond” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why this series first appealed to me to be reading:

I have a healthy appetite for INSPY stories – sometimes, I like to seek out the authors I haven’t heard of previously if only to take a proper chance to get to know them ‘now’. When it comes to the authors who are published through Cedar Fort (and their imprints), I have rather good luck in finding the stories I appreciate reading. Since this was an older duology published by the publisher, I thought, why not? I have been keeping notes on the stories recently published within the past ten years or thereabouts, as I only just discovered their stories a handful of years ago myself – starting with my readings of UncoveringCobbogoth!

I also happen to feel drawn to stories set out West – this one is meant to encourage us to go into Alaska, a destination I have oft wanted to visit for it truly is part of the untamed Pacific Northwest! I do appreciate gentle stories, filled with affirmations of life and a quiet cadence of dramatic elements rounding out the journey we take with the characters – thus, I felt these two stories by Ms Koho might be a good fit for me and I was excited to take a walk inside her novels!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | The novels of Sharon Lewis Koho feat. the series “The Painting on the Pond” – this is a review of the first novel (entitled the same) and is INSPY Suspense!The Painting on the Pond
by Sharon Lewis Koho
Source: Direct from publisher via SLB Tours

An intriguing plot meshes the past and present into a story that takes David Young down a path he never imagined in this crisp, clean mystery novel. City-born artist David Young has traveled a difficult journey during his twenty-seven years. It has finally taken him to a spectacular valley in the Pacific Northwest. Settled in a comfortable cabin he is free at last to explore, paint, and create the future of his dreams. However, a mysterious woman’s disappearance, a haunting legend, and unsettling dreams unnerve David, threatening his hopes and plunging him into the most formidable struggle of his life. While he is engulfed in mystery, adventure, and romance, an unseen hand draws him to his destiny, and into the rugged wilderness of Alaska.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-1555177034

Also by this author: to Walk in his Moccasins

Also in this series: to Walk in his Moccasins


Genres: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Suspense


Published by Bonneville Books

on 1st September, 2003

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 189

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

NOTE: Generally speaking, in my experience of reading stories published under the imprint of Bonneville Books, it means the story will be LDS Fiction – rooted in the Mormon faith, however, I did not find this to be the case in regards to the novel ‘The Painting on the Pond’. If anything, it was very lightly INSPY, in regards to the characters acknowledged their spirituality in gentle undertones throughout the content of the story – they prayed and they were open about their concerns, fears, etc but there wasn’t a moment where I would say this was ‘definitively LDS’ as other releases from Bonneville Books would have been as they focused more on the traditions of being Mormon.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Painting on the Pond Series:

The Painting on the Pond by Sharon Lewis KohoTo Walk in His Moccasins by Sharon Lewis Koho

The Painting on the Pond is a prequel for To Walk in His Moccasins which makes me believe this series could in theory be a duology and completely contained within these two installments.

NOTE: In regards to the date of publication, the copy I received of this book is copyrighted in the original year of publication [2003] – however, it was re-printed and released in [2017]. The irony there is the fact according to online resources showing the differences in cover art – the art work on my copy is reflective of the 2017 edition vs the 2003 – yet, the inside details claim mine is [2003].

Converse via: #INSPY #Suspense & #RealisticFiction

About Sharon Lewis Koho

Sharon Lewis Koho

Sharon Lewis Koho grew up on a small ranch near the town of Inkom, Idaho. Her beloved father died when she was five years old, and she and her siblings were reared in humble circumstances by a hard-working and courageous mother.

In her youth, Sharon discovered she could create any world she wanted to visit, or any story she wanted to be a part of by climbing high in the trees bordering her cherished ranch. Daydreaming there amid songs of birds, rustling leaves and the babbling of the nearby creek, inspired many wonderful stories. Sharon married Bill Koho from Nampa, Idaho in 1967, and they were married thirty years until his death in 1997.

She is the proud mother of six children. Although she is a Licensed Practical Nurse by profession, she has had much more experience in creating and telling stories. Her favorite thing to do is to spend time with her children and grandchildren. She also enjoys visiting, traveling, camping, reading, writing, swimming, and any adventurous idea that pops into her head.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

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Posted Monday, 11 June, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Art, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Medical Fiction, Men's Fiction, Modern Day, Nurses & Hospital Life, Realistic Fiction, Singing Librarian Book Tours, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense, Sweet Romance